The Development of Attachment Behaviors in Pregnant Adolescents

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The development of attachment behaviors over time in a group of pregnant adolescents, ages 12 to 19, was investigated with Rubin's theoretical framework. Seventy-nine low-income pregnant adolescents enrolled in the study in their first trimester. Follow-up data were collected in the second and third trimesters (n = 64 and 54, respectively) and after delivery (n = 47). Multivariate analysis, using profile analysis, indicated that maternal attachment in adolescents begins in pregnancy and increases over time, especially after quickening. Age-related differences were noted in the development of maternal-fetal attachment behaviors related to giving of self. Results showed a positive relationship between attachment in the third trimester and demonstration of affectionate behaviors toward the infant after birth. These findings are consistent with the theoretical framework.

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